County’s justice approach

needs systemic overhaulFinally, a common-sense and sane approach to our criminal justice system. Christer Watson’s article “Population control” (Oct. 18) shows the glaring dysfunction of our criminal justice system: from the police who feed the system, to the jailers who house the accused, to the bail bondsmen who charge usurious fees, to the prosecutors who put away nonviolent offenders, to the lawyers who rely on this system to make their living and finally the judges who perpetuate this travesty of justice.

Why didn’t our politicians look to mitigate the overpopulation by trying some of the suggestions Watson has proposed instead of throwing money at a system that is corrupt in the first place?

Richard Caldwell

New Haven

Child tax credit deserving of expansion

Lots of politicians again campaigned on the importance of family values. If that’s the case, they need to do more to help children and families struggling paycheck to paycheck.

Last year, the expanded child tax credit monthly payments put money back into the hands of American families at bill time. This allowed families to choose how best to use it, which they did for rent, food and child care. And child poverty dropped by 46%, according to the U.S. Census.

The expanded credit is a pro-family policy that works. Some politicians in Congress want to pass tax credits for large corporations. It would be scandalous for Congress to pass tax cuts for the wealthy without expanding the child tax credit.

If lawmakers truly care about family values, they will expand the child tax credit to all low-income families, with a monthly payment option, in any tax legislation this year.

Sarah Leone

Fort Wayne

Reality of climate change a logical conclusion

I am writing in response to Warren Mead’s letter of Oct. 26. I can quite agree that the climate of the earth has significantly changed throughout the course of earth’s history and that there are natural variations in climate. However, his conclusion that climate change cannot be shaped by the activities of man is a false conclusion not based upon fact.

In 1856, Eunice Foote demonstrated through a simple experiment that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. She filled one container with ordinary air and one with carbon dioxide and exposed the two containers to sunlight. She discovered, and you could too, that the container of carbon dioxide retained more heat and would be of a higher temperature. In short, carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas.

Every fossil fuel we burn, whether it is coal, gasoline or natural gas, produces carbon dioxide gas as a product of combustion. This is also an easily proven scientific fact.

Now let’s put these two facts together to make a logical conclusion. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, and the burning of fossil fuels increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Therefore, the only logical conclusion is that man’s burning of fossil fuels is increasing the temperature of the atmosphere and hence contributing to global warming, or if you prefer, contributing to climate change. This is a simple linear logical interpretation of the facts; to suggest otherwise is at best wishful thinking or, worse, a deliberate or short-sighted ignoring of scientific facts.

With these facts in mind I believe Mead should modify his last paragraph to read:

“Yes, climate change is real. But the denial of man-made climate change is a politically motivated scam that should insult the intelligence of any thinking person. The forces and dynamics that drive our climate are not beyond the reach of man. However, the politics and related skullduggery behind climate change denial are deliberately and deceitfully crafted and promulgated by man.”

Indeed, the denial of these facts is politically and economically motivated, but it is Mead’s side of the aisle denying reality and scientific facts and not mine.

Scott D. Rumage

Fort Wayne

Addition’s sewer project seems questionable

The Whitley County regional water and sewer district formed over four years ago and wants to put a sewer project in Stable Acres.

We are a country addition out in the boondocks. All the people along Indiana 14 leading to us from County Line Road are not included. Why?

Sounds like picking and choosing to me.

RSD is a private project with Aqua of Fort Wayne and engineering firm JPR, also of Fort Wayne. In August, Aqua was sent a warning letter from IDEM that it was close to being overtaxed on its system. So how can it receive any wastewater from the homes in Stable Acres, Dunfee and County Line Road South?

In the beginning, almost all of the 76 homeowners in Stable Acres were opposed, but threatening letters have been sent to get the much-needed signatures.

People have caved because when threatened with a lien against our property, we don’t know what to do. We are also intimidated by connection fees and monthly bills, even if we don’t connect.

Stable Acres has a lot of senior citizens and young families with children. When we were approached by RSD and their lawyer, we were told if we don’t like it to put our house up for sale.

When we asked the regional sewer district how we were to pay for this, we were given papers and information on how to get a loan.

This whole project has been underhanded from the beginning.

We need to let county government know they cannot railroad us.

Cheryl Wagers

Columbia City

Author seemingly unaware of hypocritical stance

“Vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!”

After reading Mark Franke’s Oct. 25 op-ed responding to Kevin R. Boyd (Oct. 14), I’m hearing, “Irony of ironies! All things are irony!” and wondering perchance if Franke may also enjoy a taste of “seeing ourselves from the other person’s point of view.”

Franke endeavors to characterize Boyd as oozing from the boiling partisan pot of epithet-hurling vitriol while seemingly elevating himself above the fray as a part of the “well-reasoned, well-written” space.

The rhetorical tools of false equivalency and false disparity come to mind in the examples offered by Franke. First, he attempts to contrast 18th century “monarchical” name-calling as altogether less defamatory than the label of “fascist” being tossed around today. We can wonder just how ripe that language was to John Adams in an era when rejection of monarchy and aristocracy were the subject of a revolution. Second, Franke pushes an “angry, resentful, rage-driven election losers” equivalency by lumping together Donald Trump and Stacey Abrams. Sorry, but nothing remotely close to equivalency exists there.

Franke makes a reference to “common good conservatives,” a combination of words I haven’t encountered before. In my seventh decade of life, I am well accustomed, especially in Indiana, to seeing conservative policies/laws that invariably contain elements that marginalize the “other.” I couldn’t help but think of that Jesus fellow who made it his focus to welcome the “other.” Maybe the term “common” is being twisted in some kind of non-inclusive way I am unfamiliar with, or perhaps there is some magical and invisible trickle-down feature at work in conservative policies for the good of the marginalized that I’m being coaxed to embrace.

It is certainly true there is too much unreasoned, uncivil and smug political discourse. And, no doubt, I stand guilty of a measure of smugness here. But I am grateful there is still the opportunity to have real political discourse. The ironic clincher from Franke seems to be the reference to Matthew 7:1-5. Perhaps he is not immune from the influence of being “surrounded by self-validating friends of similar orthodoxy”? The biggest danger for all of us is to deny our own optic wooden beam of hypocrisy.

David A. Peppler

Columbia City

Arp’s petty politics would damage whole city

I was disgusted by Jason Arp’s plan to cut the mayor’s budget. Arp’s plan would have affected Animal Care & Control, the city clerk’s office, Community Development, fire, police, parks, Public Works, Traffic and Engineering. So in his anger at the mayor, he would punish other programs and plans for our city.

Compare his remarks with another Republican also running for mayor, Tom Didier. He has offered nothing but compassion for the situation Henry is in.

I don’t know Arp and really don’t care to, but I’m extremely disappointed in his intent.

M.M. Belote

Fort Wayne